It starts with our philosophy.
Why choose one bike brand, type or model over another? I think that is a question worth exploring and one we are not asked often enough- until we come to sell our bikes.
It starts with our philosophy. We don't see ourselves as a bike hire company- we are not in the business of renting bikes to make money. We are in the business of providing quality outdoor experiences, where the clients can explore and learn about themselves, and the fantastic Arrowtown area. However the bike is our vehicle (excuse the pun) that we use to accomplish that outcome. So the latest bike gimmick may give bike shops something to talk about, like purple anodised spoke nipples (they where a thing in the 1990's and seem to be making a come back) but are not high on our list.
What is important?
1. Rider comfort.
Our aim is to make every riding experience enjoyable, and a great part of that is having bike styles that are comfortable to ride. That means relaxed riding positions, not aggressive cross country geometry. Another key to rider comfort is having bikes with hydraulic brakes. Cable or mechanical brakes are often harder to pull, get stiff and over a ride can cause hand fatigue. Replacing the brake cable and having fluid (hydraulic) to control the brakes means there is no internal cable drag and brakes are so much easier and comfortable to use.
2. Touch points.
Touch points are where the client contacts the bike. Hand grips, pedals and seat. These must be comfortable and where possible we like bikes with gel grips, seats and nylon pedals. I am always amazed how bike designers put competition style hard saddles, grips and steel pedals on bikes under $1000. I would have though most purchases in that range where for the recreational rider and possibly first mountain bike. Great touch points is why the Avanti Montari has been our go to bike for over 10 years.
3. New Zealand designed bikes.
Supporting local is always a win. But we have found that bikes designed by NZer's tend to be bikes designed by riders and suit our conditions, and the way the bikes are set up (right hand front brake).
4. Easy to maintain
Some bikes are easier to work on than others. And having a fleet of bikes that are in their best condition is paramount to riders enjoying themselves. So if we can buy bikes that our mechanics want to work on, then that's a win win.
5. Client feed back.
This could easily be number one on our list. Unlike bike retail shops, we get feed back after EVERY ride because we are here to meet our clients on their return. One bike doesn't suit everyone, but I think we have done a pretty good job providing a platform for our clients to have a really great time exploring the trails around Arrowtown.
An earlier 2012 Avanti Montari Model.
No longer in use, but these 2012 Avanti Montari where one of the best rental bike designs we have seen. Comfortable touch points, easy roll tyres and high handle bar meant riding position was superb. The exposed gear cables underneath the down tube meant you could 'tune' the cable tension by plucking them like a guitar string. Bliss for a mechanic and quick tunes on the trail.